Mao’s ‘alleged’ Guilt in the Land of Famines – Part 1/8

November 11, 2011

I have an “old” friend who often takes conservative theories, opinions and conjecture fueled by emotions, and believes in them as if God wrote them with His own hand.

In addition, many people believe any claim if it supports their own biased opinions and will attack anyone that disagrees with them no matter how valid the evidence presented. However, when it comes to China, that reaction is understandable due to Western democracies partnership with capitalism, which is the polar opposite of communism/socialism.

It makes sense that many in the West will bend over backwards (even fabricate evidence) to demonize anything from a rival seen as evil that was already demonized for decades during the West’s Cold War with global communism.

In other words, prejudice in the West of any country linked to socialism/communism is hard wired to be biased.

In this case, Mao has been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion of the crime of mass murder based on exaggerated theories and opinions supported by inflated evidence.

I wrote on this topic before in China’s Great Famine (1959-1961) Fact of Fiction. That doesn’t mean I was finished with it.  If you shake a few trees, something falls out and you learn something new and compelling on a controversial topic, it’s time to return to the subject.

This time, I went looking for recent books about China and ran into several titles that perpetuated the myth that thirty to forty-five million (or more) people died during the Great Leap Forward (GLF) when in fact there may have been no massive loss of life due to the GLF — at least not in the numbers the mostly biased Western theorists and sources keep inflating higher in book after book, which is an example of the old saying that if you tell a lie enough it grows like cancer into a malignant, evil false truth.

droughts cause famines, people starve and die

In Hungry Ghosts: Mao’s Secret Famine (April 1998), Jasper Becker claimed, “Population statistics made public since 1979 reveal that at least 30 million people starved to death in the wake of Mao’s Great Leap Forward.”

However, in one sentence the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health reveals that Becker’s claim is a fraud. “Though population, disease and mortality statistics of modern China are spotty and sometimes questionable, common consensus among the researchers is that since 1949 the public health situation in China has improved tremendously.”

Then in Catastrophe and Contention in Rural China (May 2005), Ralph A. Thaxton Jr. says, “This book documents how China’s rural people remember the great famine of Maoist rule, which proved to be the worst famine in modern world history.”

If we examine “modern world history”, Thaxton’s claim is easily dismissed.

Continued on November 12, 2011 in Mao’s ‘alleged’ Guilt in the Land of Famines – Part 2

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Recommended reading on this topic for those who seek the unblemished truth: From the Monthly Review, Did Mao Really Kill Millions in the Great Leap Forward? by Joseph Ball

From Griffith University, Australia, Poverty, by David C. Schak, Associate Professor


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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